Gas tax increased for the first time in a long period
For the first time in 25 years state legislators are putting up the gas tax to raise money for the reconstruction of bridges and roads.
On May 12, Missouri Governor Mike Parson passed the bill to raise the gas tax for further funding of the state’s infrastructure.
On Tuesday, May 11, legislators in the Missouri House of Representatives, with the ratio 104 to 52, voted in favor of the bill. Fifty-two Republicans, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Rob Vescovo, voted against.
Gas tax in Missouri is now one of the lowest in the country – only 17 cents per gallon. However, the bill will boost it up to 29,5 cents per gallon by July 2025.
The same as in South Carolina, drivers can receive compensation if they save their gas receipts.
The Missouri Department of Transportation declares that the state lacks $ 745 million to build roads and bridges. It`s expected that the gas tax raise will bring more than $ 500 million to the state budget. Though it`s not yet certain how much money will remain after drivers receive compensation.
“I don’t know how much longer we can keep kicking that can down the road,” said Republican Rep. Becky Ruth, who helped craft the legislation. “We have an opportunity to invest, make an investment in our roads and bridges, help economic development, bring jobs here and make roads safer.”
In March 2020, shortly before the coronavirus shutdowns, a similar bill was passed in Virginia. Missouri will be the next state raising gas tax.